Happiness isn't something you experience, it's something you remember.

Oscar Levant

 

You must remember this...or some reasonable facsimile of Nirvana. Come on, of course you do. How could anyone forget history's halcyon sweet spot when ham radio and life in general wasn't going to hell in a handcart?

We regrettably missed this campaign's 1952 maiden flight. Yes, we had to get big and old before we turned it up in 2009 nosing around the net like a truffle pig -- and what a rich delicacy of amateur radio goofyness it is. We were so taken with the scene we secured our own copy of the original Life magazine in which it appeared and wrote the owner of the Schlitz trademark, Pabst Brewing Company, for permission to reproduce the ad, which they graciously and speedily granted, bless them.

Feast your eyes on them real radios. The convincing QSL cards. The bright Callbook beautifully-rendered down to Pegasus and those devil-may-care dancing letters that spell AMATEUR straight out of a 1933 Moon Mullins Sunday strip. The old chair with the callsign cushion. The server who looks like she took a wrong turn in the galley of a TWA Constellation and hyper-dimensionally popped into Mister Necktie's ham shack.

Even back in that day, the domestic whimsy playing out here might well be described as Popular Science fiction, but the non-ham audience wouldn't begin to appreciate the sumptuousness of artist John Falter's sight gag.

Compare this heady confection to Falter's WAVE recruiting poster telegrapher below and see if you don't agree it's like Elsie Borden versus the Mona Lisa. All right, maybe that's a trifle hyperbolic, but you get my drift. Each for its purpose is marvelous art and both decorate my shack.

For anyone who might want the actual artifact for his or her own collection, keep an eye peeled for Life magazine dated January 7, 1952. It may well have appeared elsewhere but the "Message from Milwaukee" is there for sure on page 39.